A Walk-Dance, story telling, wreath laying, and lunch of traditional Choctaw food kicked off a day full of events for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to celebrate their Mother Mound, Nanih Waiya. Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson says this day is very important for the Choctaw.
"This celebration draws us back here because we know this was the beginning, and that this is our homeland, and our tribal members are just very proud to be a part of this mound, and we're very thankful that it has been returned to us."
A story told by Tribal Elder Lucy Morris recounted her life as a Choctaw, and the progress the tribe has made. Choctaw Indian Princess Lanena John believes that the mound means different things to different people, mainly based on their age.
"I think it would be so important to her (Morris) because she's been here longer and she knows more about the mound than we do. We only hear stories, and it's very honorable when we hear it from elders."
Those stories about the long history of the tribe is what Anderson believes keeps the culture and tradition alive.
"We pass it on year by year, day by day to our little ones. By being a part here, you get an understanding of what it's all about, and as you grow older, you share that with your children, and it just continues."
Places like the Nanih Waiya Mound and Cave are what binds the Choctaw together, and they want to share it with others.
John says, "It just basically describes who we are, and when we see people come in, we want to demonstrate what it means to our culture and our history."